The Power of Maker Time.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.” — Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

In my role as a leadership coach, I have spoken to countless managers struggling to strike a balance between driving productivity and fostering real creativity within their teams. In today’s fast-paced work environment, it is all too easy for managers to unknowingly hinder their team’s potential by packing their schedules with back-to-back meetings and tight deadlines. In the pursuit of efficiency, the concept of “maker time” has emerged as a powerful solution to unleash the true potential of your team.

What is Maker Time?

Maker time is the deliberate allocation of long blocks of uninterrupted time for team members to focus on specific tasks or projects. It could involve dedicating an entire day to a single activity that requires deep concentration and creativity. By giving your team members the space to immerse themselves in their work without distractions, you are providing them with the opportunity to achieve a state of flow—a mental state where they become fully absorbed and energised in the task at hand.

Empowering Creativity and Productivity

Creativity and innovation are critical assets for businesses to thrive. However, the constant barrage of meetings and the pressure to deliver quick results can stifle creativity. The human brain needs time to explore ideas, experiment, and connect the dots to generate solutions. Maker time allows team members to step back from the daily grind and dive deep into problem-solving and ideation.

When your team members have the freedom to allocate dedicated time to their most significant tasks, their productivity and job satisfaction soar. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and rushed, they can immerse themselves in their work, leading to higher-quality outputs and greater enthusiasm for the projects they are working on.

The Perils of Constant Meetings

Meetings are essential for communication, collaboration, and decision-making. However, excessive, and poorly planned meetings can be a major roadblock to productivity. The continuous stream of interruptions disrupts the flow of work, making it challenging for team members to engage deeply with their tasks.

Back-to-back meetings leave your team members with little time to process the information discussed, leading to a cycle of incomplete understanding and miscommunication. As a manager, it’s crucial to assess the necessity of each meeting and ensure that they are purposeful and productive, while also leaving sufficient maker time for your team to thrive.

I stand by the idea that if there’s no agenda – you shouldn’t have a meeting. 

Implementing Maker Time in Your Team

Integrating maker time into your team’s routine requires a deliberate shift in mindset and time management. Here are some actionable steps to help you get started:

  • Transparent Communication: Communicate the importance of maker time to your team and encourage open discussions about how they can best structure their schedules to accommodate it.
  • Scheduling Strategy: Plan meetings and collaborative sessions strategically to minimise disruptions to maker time. Consider designating specific days or times as “maker time blocks” where meetings are off-limits.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy: Empower your team members to manage their maker time creatively. Offer flexibility in their schedules, allowing them to decide when and how they can achieve their best work.
  • Lead by Example: As a manager, demonstrate the value of maker time by incorporating it into your own schedule. Show your team that you prioritise their focus and productivity.

Build a workplace culture that fosters productivity, innovation, and growth by allowing your teams the time and space to unleash their full potential.



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